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One percent of Gundersen workforce resigns or terminated over vaccine requirement

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According to a release from Gundersen Health System, 99 percent of its workforce has either gotten vaccinated or is in the process of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - According to a release from Gundersen Health System, 99 percent of its workforce has either gotten vaccinated or is in the process of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. 

GHS issued a statement Wednesday afternoon more than a week after its deadline for employees to comply with a vaccination requirement for employment. 

In the statement, which can be read in its entirety below, it said that "As of this week, 99% of Gundersen staff are compliant or in the process of becoming compliant with the system vaccine requirement. This includes staff who received exemptions for medical and disability reasons and for sincerely held religious beliefs. A total of 92 staff members have separated from the organization due to the vaccine requirement. This includes 62 resignations since the requirement was announced and 30 terminations."

Gundersen said it employs approximately 9,154 people at its facilities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. 

They announced in August that they would require all staff be vaccinated for COVID-19 by November 1. 

Full statement from Gundersen Health System:

Gundersen Health System continues to provide care for all those in our community in support of its mission. The organization’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for staff supports the mission to provide the safest environment of care for patients, their families, and dedicated staff. Gundersen must support its mission of care by using every option, including vaccination, to end the pandemic, protect the community, and deliver care to those we serve.

Gundersen respects everyone’s right to express their opinion on this and a variety of issues, and understands the choice some employees will make. However, Gundersen’s mission of caring for patients and ensuring their health and safety, along with the health and safety of staff, is the organization’s number one priority.

When Gundersen announced its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all staff in August 2021, 85% of staff had already been fully vaccinated as part of their commitment to the health and safety of patients and coworkers.

As of this week, 99% of Gundersen staff are compliant or in the process of becoming compliant with the system vaccine requirement. This includes staff who received exemptions for medical and disability reasons and for sincerely held religious beliefs. A total of 92 staff members have separated from the organization due to the vaccine requirement. This includes 62 resignations since the requirement was announced and 30 terminations.

Gundersen’s vaccine requirement was, in part, a proactive step in anticipation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) emergency regulation now in effect.

The CMS emergency regulation is stricter than Gundersen’s vaccine requirement and offers less flexibility. Gundersen is reviewing the regulation to ensure compliance.

Gundersen’s dedicated staff deeply appreciate the efforts of neighbors, friends, and businesses to battle the pandemic together and ensure we can continue to care for all who seek our services. This includes masking, distancing, hand hygiene, and vaccination. Together we will end the pandemic.